Saudi Gazette and Arab News both have reported today that Director General Passport (Jawazat) has made a statement that expatriates will be able to renew their Iqamas for 5 years very soon. He said that Jawazat has been working on this project from a long time and now it is almost in final stage. Along with renewing Iqama for 5 years, director general said that they are also considering changing the name of Iqama to “Residence Permit”. It should be noted that currently, expatriates are allowed to renew Iqamas only for one year and two years. Now they will be given option to renew it for 5 years as well. But it will depend solely upon the discretion of the employer or Kafeel of the expatriate. This project needs to be approved by the Ministry of Interior before implementation.
Expected Benefits of Extending the Renewal of Iqama to 5 Years
With the implementation of this rule of extending the renewal period of Iqama to 5 years, Saudi Arabia and residents of Saudi Arabia will be enjoying several benefits.
- Iqamas of expatriates living in Saudi Arabia is renewed for one or two years right now. With the implementation of the new rules, they will be able to renew Iqamas for 5 years which will have positive impact upon education of their children studying in the schools in Saudi Arabia.
- We hear official statements every second month about the increase in foreign remittances outflow from Saudi Arabia. Foreign remittance outflow has significantly increased after the implementation of Nitaqat Law. With the implementation of the new rule to renew Iqama for 5 years, foreign remittance outflow will significantly reduce.
- When foreign investors will be given 5 years of stay in Saudi Arabia, they will be more than happy to invest in Saudi market. Foreign Direct Investment will also increase with the implementation of new rule to renew Iqama for 5 years.
- Almost 90% of the projects of Saudi Arabia are not completed on timely basis due to shortage of manpower. With the implementation of new rule to renew iqama for 5 years, they will be completed on time.
- Last but not the least; new rule to renew iqama for 5 years will give peace of mind to the expatriates living in Saudi Arabia.
Director General Passport (Jawazat) said that after implementation of the project to give an option to employers to renew the Iqama for 5 years, they will be considering to extend the renewal period up to 10 years. It means that employers will be given 4 options to renew the Iqama for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years.
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